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Technology US claims Huawei can secretly access carrier backdoors

01:45  12 february  2020
01:45  12 february  2020 Source:   engadget.com

Huawei ban: Full timeline as US reportedly finds Chinese company has access to mobile networks globally

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The US has been trying to persuade its allies to ditch Huawei for a while, but it has been curiously shy about providing evidence to support its case. Officials talking to the Wall Street Journal have claimed that Huawei can "covertly" access phone networks worldwide using backdoors meant for law

Huawei can reportedly access backdoors in mobile networks globally. Corinne Reichert/CNET. The backdoors were inserted for law enforcement use into carrier equipment like base stations " We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information

The US has been trying to persuade its allies to ditch Huawei for a while, but it has been curiously shy about providing evidence to support its case. However, some of that evidence appears to be coming to light -- although it's still not certain there's a real threat. Officials talking to the Wall Street Journal have claimed that Huawei can "covertly" access phone networks worldwide using backdoors meant for law enforcement. While manufacturers are often required to design their gear in a way that prevents them from gaining access without a carrier's permission, Huawei supposedly maintains that access without the carriers being any the wiser.

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  House passes bill barring government from buying Huawei gear The legislation now faces a Senate vote.The move is "critical" to protect America's wireless networks from "malicious foreign interference," Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) and Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY) said.

The United States government has alleged Huawei has backdoor access to mobile networks in The Wall Street Journal brings word from a US national security adviser, claiming the under-fire He said: “ We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal

Vodafone asked Huawei to remove backdoors in home internet routers in 2011 and received Vodafone also identified backdoors in parts of its fixed- access network known as optical service “Vodafone takes security extremely seriously and that is why we independently test the equipment we

a man standing in front of a window

Huawei is unique in having this kind of access and doesn't tell national security agencies, one unnamed official said. The US apparently didn't start sharing these claims until late 2019, having changed its mind after previously insisting that it didn't need to provide tangible evidence. It partly declassified some of those assertions, but those weren't public knowledge until now.

Unsurprisingly, Huawei has rejected these latest claims. In a response to the WSJ, it said it "has never and will never do" anything to jeopardize its customers. One official added that law enforcement backdoors were "strictly regulated" and could only be used by certified carrier staff. Huawei workers need "explicit approval," the official said, further asserting that any attempts to use those backdoors would easily be caught.

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  Huawei is reportedly offering $26M for developers to build apps for its new phones The Chinese tech giant's AppGallery is looking for more content.Huawei was blacklisted in May when it was added to the United States' "entity list" (PDF). In addition to adding Huawei to the list, US President Donald Trump at the same time signed an executive order essentially banning the company in light of national security concerns that Huawei had close ties with the Chinese government. Huawei has repeatedly denied that charge.

US officials say Huawei has built equipment that secretly preserves the manufacturer’s ability to access networks through these interfaces without the carriers ’ knowledge. The officials didn’t provide details of where they believe Huawei is able access networks.

Huawei is a Chinese multinational technology and consumer electronics company. It has faced criticisms for various aspects of its operations

While this sheds more light on just why the US has been pressuring countries into abandoning Huawei, this won't necessarily convince everyone. There doesn't appear to be evidence that Huawei has used this capability, including on the networks of wireless giants like Vodafone. There are also questions as to whether or not this is as nefarious as the US has implied. Vodafone found vulnerabilities in Huawei routers in 2009, but it rejectedBloomberg claims that these were backdoors meant to enable spying -- they were just commonplace telnet functions that weren't closed properly. Without more evidence, it's hard to know if the US is presenting definitive proof or exaggerating the threat.

Wall Street Journal

The U.S. Space Force's New Mission? Protecting 5G .
Space-based internet traffic will fall under the nation’s newest armed service. The Space Force says that new 5G tech will be a crucial part of the Space Force’s mission.Many companies plan to deploy thousands of satellites to deliver 5G connectivity to people and devices on the ground.The service is concerned about the security of those satellites and the presence of network hardware made by companies like Huawei with ties to the China.5G communications technology is crucial to the U.S. Space Force and will be part of the new organization’s mission.

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